LONDON – National flag carrier Oman Air (WY) has announced it will restart operations in the start of October, following its hiatus caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
From October 1, the carrier will resume operations to 18 cities across 12 destinations which will include its safety program which has been adjusted to the pandemic. Masks will be required when onboard WY flights as well as in Oman’s airports, with social distancing being maintained while guests board and exit the aircraft.
Flights will be cleaned after each flight as well as at the end of the day, with cabin crew wearing personal protective equipment. Meal services for the carrier, like with others globally, have been changed to ensure safety and lack of contact.
Significant focus on Africa & Middle East
Out of the 18 cities WY plans to operate, eight of them are in the GCC, Middle East and Africa:
- Salalah (Twice daily)
- Duqm (Six-weekly)
- Dar Es Salaam (Twice weekly)
- Zanzibar (Twice weekly)
Services to Duqm have already commenced on September 20, which operates every day apart from Fridays. WY commented on these destinations, in particular, referring to the country’s status as a Special Economic Zone.
“[This is] a significant step forward in the nation’s economic development and a reflection of the airline’s commitment to serving the Sultanate.”
“This step supports development of this increasingly important city. As a Special Economic Zone, Duqm plays a vital role in Oman’s economic growth. Oman Air’s service helps facilitate business growth in the area and attract further investment.”
Europe & The Far East
Five destinations in Europe and the Far East will resume under the Oman Air network. Services to London Heathrow (LHR) will depart on Sundays and Wednesdays, with Frankfurt (FRA) operations on Mondays and Saturdays.
On top of that, flights to Istanbul will depart from Muscat (MCT) will depart on Wednesdays and Sundays, bringing the overall count of European flights to six weekly going into next month.
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Manila (MNL) will be the destinations for the Far-East, bringing together some significant connections from the Middle East.
The Indian Question
In the Indian Subcontinent, services to Islamabad (ISB) and Lahore (LHE) will commence on October 1 as well. There is no question about the viability of those two routes launching, but more particularly in Mumbai (BOM), Delhi (DEL), and Kochi (COK).
Those three flights are still subject to the opening of airports for international scheduled traffic, following the Indian Government’s decision to close its borders. Domestic flights are operating in India currently.
For WY, if the borders do open in time, then this will be a great opportunity to achieve some additional revenue, especially with revenues at Indian airlines falling by 85.7%.
It remains clear that looking ahead, Oman Air is launching a relatively modest network, based on high demand in a pre-COVID-19 environment.
With the safety procedures now in place, as well as the carrier using the #Fly_Confidently hashtag, it remains clear that consumer confidence is at the forefront of WY’s strategy.
The next few weeks will determine what sort of demand the airline receives and whether it will be enough to sustain the services it will be reinstating.
Featured Image: Oman Air Airbus A330-300. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons